June 21 is the inaugural International Day of Yoga, as decreed by the United Nations in 2014. In April of 2015, Yoga Alliance announced four special grants that would help anyone in the yoga community create an exciting event to celebrate this momentous occasion.
We’re excited to announce the first of our four winners: The Athenaeum Foundation!
The Athenaeum Foundation is a community space in Indianapolis dedicated to “nurturing a sound mind and a sound body.” Cassie Stockamp, the president of the foundation, has also been the lead organizer of Monumental Yoga —a city-wide yoga event in downtown Indianapolis.
Cassie first got the idea for the event after seeing a yoga event held on the summer solstice in Times Square. “I thought: ‘We could totally do this!’” Cassie says. “My goal is to not only share this wonderful practice with the larger community, but to bring the local yoga community together in a non-competitive environment. We have six teachers from six different studios who will each teach a portion of the 60-miunute flow.”
Listed as one of this summer’s Best Bets by the NUVO Summer City Guide, Monumental Yoga begins with a guided meditation, followed by live music by local electric violinist Cathy Morris and DJ HyFi, a pioneer in the fusion of yoga and electronic music. Surrounding the event is the “Yoga Village,” a place where local businesses and sponsors will be connecting with community members and showcasing their offerings. At noon, the main event will begin — a 75-minute yoga class right in the middle of Monument Circle.
This year’s event will focus on including the whole family — a great way of sharing yoga with future generations. During the main event, there will also be a special 45-minute yoga routine for parents and their children ages 6+ to do in a cool, shady space. Appropriately, the net proceeds from Monumental Yoga will be donated to Mighty Lotus, a nonprofit organization bringing yoga into local schools.
Cassie estimates that over 2,000 people will be in attendance this year. “We’re overjoyed at how strong the Indianapolis yoga community is, and we hope to continue to bring people, studios and the community together for years to come.” The event will also feature free bicycle parking to encourage alternative forms of transportation.
As with any event, there are plenty of logistics and contingencies to plan for. Cassie told us that their grant will go towards underwriting these aspects — permits, security, restrooms, etc. — to ensure the day goes off without a hitch.
When asked what she envisions for the future of yoga, Cassie told us, “Yoga has changed my life… To me, it means possibility. The possibility to become healthier, more conscious of the body and in its beautiful way, more present and calm. I hope yoga becomes even more accepted into the larger community as a wonderful workout for the body, mind and soul!”
Congratulations, Athenaeum Foundation! We’re excited to see your event happen this summer.
Keep your eyes out for more articles about our winners, and if you’re near any of these events, be sure to attend to support your local yoga community!